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Royal Navy inviting companies for sensor demo on its XLUUV drone submarine

Royal Navy XLUUV
Photo: UK defense ministry

The Royal Navy and the UK defense ministry are inviting start-ups and other interested companies and innovators to showcase their innovative sensor and payload technologies on the service’s first extra large autonomous test submarine.

The project will offers a unique opportunity to undertake at-sea testing and trials of prototype technology on the extra large unmanned underwater vehicle (XLUUV) developed by MSubs Ltd for the Royal Navy.

This will be the first stage of the the Royal Navy’s autonomous underwater capability program development that is undertaken with the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).

The defense ministry will supply and support the XLUUV to allow for technology to be fitted and integrated, trials to be planned and carried out, and equipment removal. In addition, up to £20k will be made available to innovators who are selected for this opportunity to cover travel and subsistence costs.

The XLUUV will be made available to test on-board systems, sensors and payloads required to support a range of scenarios to help develop the Royal Navy’s understanding of the utility and operational boundaries of unmanned underwater vehicle systems.

Royal Navy said the main aim of the undertaking was to shape future requirements and design future capabilities and concepts of operation whilst providing innovators in industry and academia the opportunity to develop and test technology aligned to this future capability.

Those wishing to take part need to submit an initial one-page pitch via the DASA online submission service by March 8.

A panel of experts from the Royal Navy, Dstl and MSubs will review the pitches. Organisations will then be invited to submit a full proposal before April 13, 2021.

The competition document is available here